KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has urged the Sarawak government to properly think through and refine the policy and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Sarawakians to return back to the state as the constant flip-flop in policy has not just caused a lot of confusion, but also a huge inconvenience to the people travelling back.
In a press statement today, Dr Yii noted that on Tuesday Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah as the Chairman of Sarawak Disaster Management (SDMC) had made the announcement of a changed in policy which requires Sarawakians to apply for a police permit on top of the online permit from SDMC.
“They added an extra step which requires us to go queue up at the police station to apply for another permit first, then need to re-apply again to SDMC for another permit before we are allowed to fly back home.
“While the people will generally comply with all requirements but I just find it unnecessary as to why there is a need for two permits and for us all to apply from two different platforms,” he said.
Dr Yii pointed out that the flip-flop in policy has caused many confusion and there have been constant inquiries and feedback from Sarawakians who need to fly back from Sarawak.
“Some who are flying from neighbouring countries and only transit for a short period through KLIA, how are they suppose to go out to find a police station to apply the permit.
“Some Sarawakians that are already quarantined in KL (Kuala Lumpur), and awaiting their flights back to Sarawak also complained of the inconvenience that they now need to go out from their quarantine centre to find a police station, exposing them to possible infection, just to apply for this permit before going to the airport to fly,” he said.
Dr Yii added that he himself had to queue under the hot sun for more than three hours today at the police station to get the permit before reapplying to SDMC for the second permit.
“There was a crowd at the police station and such announcement increases the risk of another cluster forming especially if proper precautions were not adhered to.
“While I understand you want to control the amount of travels in, but you can limit those travels through a singular database or platform, without the need for two permits,” he said.
Dr Yii believed that SDMC could release permits based on amount of travellers allowed to enter at a particular time without the need to ask them to go to a police station to apply for another permit.
“That is why I believe such additional steps are unnecessary and even if it is still needed, the government should be able to innovate and integrate online applications to address all the different issues faced by the people.
“Again, the constant changes in policy is not just inconvenient, but confusing for many people,” he added.